Thursday, May 20, 2010
More New Old Cameras
There’s another pair of new “old” camera on the block, and it’s Sony’s Alpha NEX-3 and NEX-5 combo. Another, because lately cameras in this format seem to be popping up with a bit of buzz almost every couple of months. They’re new because they’re high-tech and fancy, fitting high-res APS-sized CMOS sensors into “pocket camera” bodies. And the cameras I describe are “old” too because they’re capitalizing on the trend that was popularized in the 1960s when camera makers worked to make 35mm film cameras into pocket cameras without sacrificing image quality and manual control. That’s what cameras in this category—referred to by some bloggers as DEVIL cameras (because they are Digital Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens cameras)—strive for, and it would appear that the Sony Alpha NEX-3 and NEX-5 deliver. The most interesting thing as far as I’m concerned appears to be the large interchangeable lenses that fit on the tiny cameras (Sony says they’re the tiniest when compared to other interchangeable lens bodies). I’m assuming the lenses seem larger because the cameras are so small, and also because they are larger to work with the APS-C sized sensors—which are a bit larger than many DEVIL cameras’ Micro Four Thirds sensors. The bottom line certainly appears to be that these two cameras can do quite a lot, packing considerable quality into a little package. I’m excited about these DEVIL cameras in general, so it’s exciting to see all of the new entrants into the category. Check out hands-on reviews of the NEX cameras at DPS and C-Net’s web sites, and then go shopping at Sony’s dedicated NEX microsite.